A Medical Device Daily

Health Robotics (Bozen, Italy) said it has signed a definitive agreement with Devon International Group (DIG; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania), under which DIG has acquired the exclusive rights to Health Robotics' CytoCare and i.v.STATION robots in China.

Health Robotics said its solutions "offer benefits with appeal to government and hospital officials in China, such as eliminating human handling of chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs during preparation, greatly improving accuracy, and reducing potentially fatal medication errors."

DIG said it initially will staff its Health Robotics product team at its Beijing and Shanghai office locations, in addition to planned local manufacturing operations.

CytoCare is the world's first automated robotic system for the safe preparation of hazardous patient-specific IV medications. Originally developed for cancer therapy, CytoCare also has been proven to compound monoclonal antibodies therapy IV admixtures to treat patients with Crohn's disease, organ transplants, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious diseases.

i.v.STATION is the first and only automated, point-of-care and fail-safe robotic system for the sterile and accurate preparation of non-hazardous IV admixtures.

"Given DIG's strong presence in China with some of our other high-tech manufacturing subsidiaries, we embarked in due diligence with our local partners, government officials, and leading healthcare providers to determine if this was the right time to bring Health Robotics' unique technology to China," said John Bennett, CEO of Devon International Group.

"After I ... met several key Chinese healthcare officials and hospitals in October, I became convinced that China is ready to begin embracing Health Robotics' solutions in the critical area of cancer care, where medication errors can mean the difference between life and death," he said.

Bennett said DIG would officially launch both Health Robotics solutions at the China International Medical Equipment Fair in Shenzhen on April 18-21, 2009.

"We are very pleased to expand our strategic DIG partnership with comprehensive operations in China, including the potential to streamline costs and manufacturing operations by utilizing ... access to [DIG's] world-class, ISO-certified, China-based high-tech and medical devices manufacturing expertise," said Health Robotics CEO Werner Rainer.

"In addition we are [pleased] to work with the 40-people-strong DIG marketing and service teams in Shanghai and Beijing"

In addition to its Pennsylvania headquarters and other U.S.-based offices, Devon International Group has offices in Dublin (Ireland), London, Lithuania, Bangalore, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Health Robotics is a leading supplier of intravenous medication preparation, compounding, and dispensing robots.

New Singapore lab for PPD

PPD (Wilmington, North Carolina) said it plans to expand its global central lab services into Singapore in response to growing client demand in Southeast Asia. The lab is expected to begin operations in mid-2009 and will provide biopharmaceutical clients with a comprehensive range of highly customized lab services.

The new lab strengthens PPD's presence in Singapore, where for a number of years the company has provided a range of clinical development services, including clinical trial management and monitoring, patient recruitment, site identification and regulatory affairs.

"Southeast Asia is an attractive region for conducting clinical trials, and Singapore is an important biopharmaceutical hub," said Agostino Fede, PhD, senior vice president of PPD and head of its global central labs. "Establishing a direct lab presence in Singapore will enhance our abilities to reduce turnaround time and deliver high quality specimens and laboratory results at better logistics costs for our clients."

The equipment in Singapore is identical to platforms located at PPD's other global central labs in Highland Heights, Kentucky; Brussels, Belgium; and Beijing, China.

PPD is a global contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs. Our clients and partners include medical device, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, academic and government organizations. It has offices in 33 countries.

H-Cube chosen by WuXi AppTec

WuXi AppTec (Shanghai, China), the operating company of WuXi PharmaTech, a major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device research and development outsourcing company with operations in China and the U.S., reported its selection of H-Cube from ThalesNano (Budapest, Hungary) for laboratory-based hydrogenation.

The H-Cub Continuous-flow Hydrogenation Reactor is a bench-top standalone hydrogenation device, combining continuous-flow microchemistry with endogenous on-demand hydrogen generation and a disposable catalyst cartridge system.

"WuXi AppTec is one of the largest CRO companies in the world, providing the best services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device research and development industries. We are very glad to supply WuXi with our technique, service and application," said ThalesNano CEO Dr. Laszlo Urge.

WuXi PharmaTech provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies a broad and integrated portfolio of laboratory and manufacturing services throughout the drug and medical device R&D process. Those services are designed to assist its global partners in shortening the cycle and lowering the cost of R&D.